Letter From the Editor – Spring 2024 New Issue

Hey everyone, Chris Faria here from Tribal Gaming and Hospitality Magazine with our new Spring edition of TG&H Magazine, sponsored by Ainsworth.

In our IGA issue, we celebrate Snoqualmie Casino in Washington state who was recognized as one of the best places to work and voted best casino in 425 Magazine and Seattle Magazine. In this interview, their leadership shares their vision of creating 1,300 leaders this next year.

I’d also like to highlight just a few other intriguing articles in this issue. One is by Derk Boss who talks about the new type of threat facing security and surveillance departments and their new role in cybersecurity. Also, Chris Archunde tackles the difference between return on investment and re-investment for our marketing experts out there. Of course, this issue is packed with thought-provoking articles and interviews.

Four years ago everything changed.

As I write this, it was four years ago this week that I remember Gency Warren and I were in our office in Reno, packing up our laptops and our screens to “temporarily” work at home. The week before, the Indian Gaming Association cancelled their annual tradeshow 12 days before the event.  Our third, gorgeous, printed issue of Tribal Gaming & Hospitality magazine was already en route to be placed in attendee bags.

Our 5000 copies of magazines sitting in a warehouse somewhere would soon be forgotten as we scrambled to make sense of our new world in the coming months and little did, we know, years.

The plan for the new TG&H was to give the industry to traditionally print quarterly, but launching a digital tool that the industry hadn’t fully realized yet was our goal. So much for the perfect recording studio! World, meet ZOOM. We committed to being all and everything digital after that and never looked back.

There were so many unknowns that Spring of 2020 and the one thing we could do as a company, to play our part, was to connect folks on a larger scale.

Our first ON AIR was aired on March 27 – Deana Scott interviewed Tom Osiecki, who had held leadership positions through major disasters including Katrina. Following that interview, we heard from Tribal and commercial leaders from across the U.S. in the months to come. People listened and watched in great numbers … what were other operators doing? How were they protecting their team members? When would it be safe for guests to come back? What was happening with our supply chains?

During this time of great loss, division, and continued uncertainty, business and life still progressed in this odd, new way:

  • We talked about “guest service through the mask” and how the uniform departments were shifting gears to make masks
  • We wondered if our team members would return to the front-line
  • Would guests return after the “all clear” or would they shelter in place and hold on to their stimulus checks?

We also chatted with vendors:

  • How could casinos source PPE?
  • What was the best way to reliably test our teams to keep everyone safe?
  • Slot machine manufacturers couldn’t get parts, how would that impact new releases?
  • Incentive companies had merchandise stuck in harbors for months; what were casinos to do?

I remember all this yet some things I’ve forgotten – the isolation, the new protocols, the updates from Dr. Fauci.  After a few years we all wished our articles and interviews wouldn’t mention COVID, pandemic or coronavirus. You’ll find in this issue; it’s still impacting us.

A new way to reach our audience

In 2020, Ainsworth, under Mike Trask’s marketing leadership, had been one of our first print advertisers when we created TG&H. That November, he came to us and said something along the lines of, “I have an idea that will take what you’re doing on Zoom to the next level. Since operators can’t go to tradeshows or visit our showroom, let’s open our showroom through Zoom so folks can see what they missed at IGA and G2E.” Introducing “Ainsworth Showroom Live.”

Since that first airing in December of 2020, TG&H and Ainsworth have invited operators via Zoom to see new games, ask direct questions to game developers and take a “spin” on new machines. When IGA and G2E were in person again, we continued do the previews and zooms from on the floor for the folks who were not able to travel.  It’s been great to have such an innovative client such as Ainsworth.

TG&H at IGA 2024 – Check Out Ainsworth Live News Desk sponsored by TG&H and CDC Gaming

For the 2024 IGA show next week, we’re doing something new again. Look for us at Ainsworth Live News Desk, where we, along with our news partner CDC Gaming, will be interviewing leadership from properties and thought-leading vendors. Many interviews will be dropped on social media as well as on our post show TG&H Newsletter. Please stop by the TG&H and Raving booth #633!

We haven’t stopped evolving … so what’s next?

Without doubt, COVID changed TG&H and Raving  as businesses; in many ways it cracked open eggs we weren’t ready to crack (a phrase we use around a lot around here) and it impacted every team member in some way.

We’ve been pushed forward by a great wave and it’s time to swim out to the next break and see what’s coming when it comes content. What do you need in 2024 and beyond? How do you want to consume “media” – to learn – to connect? Please fill out our readership survey today and let us know what that looks like to you.  See media is much more than it ever was … it’s not just reading these days: it’s interacting, it’s sharing, it’s listening, it’s watching, and it’s responding.

It’s been a few years since our tradeshows are “back to normal.” Perhaps it’s a combination of my age and timing in my career – but getting on a plane to a tradeshow is not a drag. I sincerely look forward to catching up my comrades from the last 24 years, more than I ever have before. And yes, I still expect Mike Meczka to walk around the corner to say “Well hello, Ms. Chris.”

Sincere thanks to all our readers and our advertisers who look at TG&H as a trusted resource to share vital information and connect people. Hope to see many of you next week at IGA!

Most sincerely,

Christine Faria

Executive Editor

Tribal Gaming & Hospitality Magazine


PS – Don’t forget to take our quick survey, we appreciate it!

Christine Faria 52 Articles